Slow Down a Portion of a Track In Garageband

You can slow down a section of a recorded track in Garageband. You'll need to isolate the track in its own Garageband file and then set things up just right to slow down the track.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Slow Down a Portion of a Track In Garageband.

Hi, this is Gary with On today's episode let me show you how you can slow down a portion of a track in Garageband.

So here's something I get asked every once in awhile. How do you slow down some audio using Garageband? But not just slow down the audio in its entirety but only a section of it. Like if you want a song to slow down at the end, or at least a track from the song.

So I'm going to go into Garageband and create an empty project. But I want to point out that I've got this audio file right here. This audio file is just a looping guitar piece. It loops at the same speed and I want it to slow down at the end. I'm going to drag that into the project. Let's create the empty project here and then I'm going to drag and drop this file in. So there I go. I'm going to position it all the way to the left and now I've got this guitar bit right here. If I play it you can hear the loop.

Alright, so that just loops over and over again. But what I want to do is here at the end, right about here, I want it to slow down to the end there. So in order to do that I need to enable some things.

Let's clean this up first. I've got this blank track here. I'm going to select it and then use Command Delete to get rid of it. So now I just have the recorded guitar track there. Now I'm going to go to Track and Show Tempo Track. Now you would think this is exactly what we want, the tempo track. We can drag this line down and slow things down. But that's not what the tempo track does. At least not right now because what it will actually do is it will tell Garageband that the tempo of this is something different.

Right now it doesn't know. Its just recorded audio. So we've told it, ah it's a 120 beats per minute. Well, if we were to change it to 90 it would say great. I'm still playing at the same speed but you've just told me that speed is 90 beats per minute. So it's not going to affect this track. It will just affect other things we bring in like other loops and things like that. So we will see no change if we adjust tempo, at least not yet.

Now we want to go to View, Show Editor. Here we've got the editor at the bottom. If you can't see the Follow Tempo & Pitch down here at the bottom first make sure you are set to Region not Track. So click on Region. Then you can drag this line here up to make sure you see everything here at the bottom.

Another thing you want to make sure, is make sure you have this selected up here. See I can have it not selected and then selected. It's got to be selected else you won't be able to check off Follow Tempo & Pitch which is what we want.

Even with this selected, sometimes, this won't check off. Sometimes I find that you have to do something like turn on Flex and then off Flex and then it will check it off. I don't know why you need to do that sometimes and not others but you can see that everything is the same. I've just turned that on and off. The bottom line is you need to get this checked either by checking it or by turning this on and off here.

Now that we have Follow Tempo & Pitch turned on we can slow down this track for real.

I could just drag this line down here and it would slow things down and you can hear it slower. But we don't want to slow down the entire thing. So I'll go back to 120 beats per minute and I'm going to use the Command key on my keyboard and click on the line right here. You can see it when I hold the Command key down I get this little pen or knife here. I'm not sure what that icon is supposed to be. But I can click right there and I create a dot. Now I can adjust this line here so I can have a sudden abrupt change in speed right at this point.

I don't want an abrupt change in speed so what I'm going to do is I'm going to go back up here to 120 and I'm going to put another point right here at the end. Then I'm going to, you can see this is a line here I can drag. Actually there is three points now when I created that other one. I've got this point, that point, and this middle point that was created. I can drag this down to where I want it.

Let's drag this way down. I can go down below the bottom of that. Notice the number there next to Change Tempo, 60, 50, 40. I'll go down to 40, really slow. Then this will jump and change so that it adjusts there. I've got this middle thing here. I can click that and now I can put a curve. So obviously this will slow it down at an even pace and this will do it at a curved pace. So slow it down a little bit at first and then suddenly it drops off quickly. Or I can have it drop off quickly and then the rate of slowing down will change.

So I'm just going to go and do the middle thing right there. Now when I set the playhead here you can hear it slow down. So there you go. I've successfully been able to slow this down, just this section of it here.

Now if I want to actually use this in a song what I want to do at this point, since this tempo track is actually changing everything that is going on in this song here, I going to want to export it. So I'm going to go to Share, Export Song to Disk and export this out as guitar 2. Then I'll bring this guitar 2 into the Garageband composition that has many tracks and all sorts of different things in it knowing that I've got this slow down part here.

I could even, if I wanted to, just slow down just a portion of it and use this as a segment to put into a song. I don't even have to have the entire guitar track in here of course.

Now if your intention is to actually have this fade out as well as slow down then you can click on the Show/Hide Automation button here. Now I get a line inside the track and I can Command Click on that and it works in a very similar way but the difference being this is volume not speed. So now not only will it slow down but it will fade out.

Comments: 2 Responses to “Slow Down a Portion of a Track In Garageband”

    3 years ago

    Great tip, appreciate your good works!!!

    3 years ago

    Nice tutorial! Shows Garage Band’s flexibility.

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